Tyler Today April/May 2017 : Page 140

tylertoday financial Nine Myths about meeting daily living requirements, in-cluding getting in and out of bed, dressing, eating, care of personal hygiene, etc. Licensed medical personnel are not required, but care must still be supervised and given according to a doctor’s orders. Medicare coverage relates only to skilled nursing care and covers up to 150 days of skilled care per year, only if required by a physician, and with a co-payment. About 95% of patients in nursing homes receive custodial, not skilled, care according to a Harvard University study. MYTH 3 My supplemental health insurance will provide protection from the high cost of nursing home stays! Like Medicare, Medicare supplement (Medigap) policies are designed to cover acute short-term illnesses. Most plans follow Medicare guidelines, paying only for services Medicare considers eligible. They were never intended to cover long-term care. MYTH 4 It cannot cost that much to stay in a nursing home! About 70% of single people admitted to nursing homes are impoverished within one year, and about 50% of all couples are impoverished within one year of one spouse being admitted, according to a study by the U. S. House of Representatives. The current cost of nursing home care averages $48,000 per year, according to “The Consumer’s Guide to Long Term Health Care Insurance.” MYTH 5 If I cannot afford it, I will go on Medicaid! Medicaid coverage currently pays about 44% of all nursing home ? Anticipating the need for extended nursing home care is crucial to protecting a lifetime’s accumulation of assets from the high costs of nursing home stays. However, many people remain financially unprepared when a nursing home stay becomes a reality. MYTH 1 It will not happen to me! The need for long-term care may result from sudden medical problems, such as a stroke or heart attack, or from gradual deterioration of health and the ability to function independently, usually due to chronic illness. Nearly 50% of those ages 65 or older will find it necessary to spend time in a nursing home at some point in their lives, according to the Health Care Financing Administration. MYTH 2 I am covered by Medicare! Medicare pays less than 3%* of total nursing home costs in the United States. It simply does not cover the costs of long-term care. While in a nursing home, an individual receives one of three levels of care, depending on the nature of the condition: SKILLED CARE: Is medically necessary care provided continuously, day in and out, by licensed medical professionals (doctors, nurses, therapists) working under the direct order of physicians. ? INTERMEDIATE CARE: Is similar to skilled care, but can be performed on an occasional rather than daily basis. CUSTODIAL CARE: Is for people who require room and board, plus assistance ? 140 APRIL / MAY 201 7

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